April 26, 1995 in City

Hepatitis Outbreak Prompts Precautions

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

After two new cases of hepatitis A in a week, health officials have ordered Kootenai County restaurant and day-care workers to wear gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods.

A similar order issued for Bonner County on Jan. 20 is still in effect.

Five cases of the illness have been reported in Kootenai County since Jan. 1. The most recent was reported Monday.

Bonner County has reported 21 cases since November. No new cases have surfaced since March 15.

Tuesday’s order will last five months, said Steve McMillan, from the Panhandle Health District. It applies to workers handling sandwiches, salads and other ready-to-eat foods.

The three latest cases in Kootenai County may be related, McMillan said. Two of the people know each other.

Only one recent case has involved a food handler - a woman at The Rustler’s Roost restaurant on Sherman Avenue. At least 3,500 people may have been exposed to the virus, McMillan said. About 1,600 received immune serum injections recently to head off the virus.

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